Starting a new home care agency? Congratulations! This is an exciting time for your career, though you may also be feeling a bit of trepidation. Starting your new agency off on the right foot can increase the likelihood of success for years to come. The foundation of a solid home care agency begins with policies and procedures that will guide you and your team as you navigate staffing and client care issues.
Here are a few policies and procedures to think about and carefully write as you begin the cornerstones for your agency.
Human Resources Policies and Procedures
Your home care agency’s success hinges on the actions of your caregivers and other staff members. Make sure your new agency communicates expectations for work and for discipline by developing thoughtful policies and procedures for:
- No-call-no-shows (job abandonment)
- Filing a report or complaint related to sexual harassment, unsafe work conditions, etc.
- Investigation procedures for complaints or reports
- Nondiscrimination policy
- Scheduling expectations
- Dress code
- Paid time off benefits and requests
- Disciplinary action and timeline
- Clocking in and out
- Back safety
- Workers compensation
- Social media
- Confidentiality and privacy
Client Care Policies and Procedures
You can ensure exceptional client care when you have policies and procedures in place to make the care experience parallel from home to home. While client care policies and procedures will vary from state to state based on your local regulations or recommendations, here are a few to thoughtfully consider while developing your P&P manual:
- Documentation expectations
- Assessment process
- Levels of care available
- Service costs and adjustments
- Care plan development and updates
- Handwashing expectations
- Safety expectations
- Emergency procedures
- Transportation expectations (caregiver transportation of client)
- Family communication standards
- Client and caregiver rights
- Infection control policies and procedures, including any COVID-19 screening prior to scheduling
- Hoyer lift procedures
- Transferring procedures
- ADL procedures
Make It Unique
Your policy and procedure manual is flexible and can be changed throughout the life of your agency, if needed. However, when you open an agency, you have the unique opportunity to really think through the policies and procedures that will stand the test of time. Do your best to create policies and procedures that will keep your caregivers and clients safe, as well as increase the potential success of your agency.
You should create policies and procedures that are short and sweet. Try not to tackle major issues in just one policy/procedure. Instead, break down complex issues into smaller steps that you can develop policy/procedure for.
You should also create policies and procedures for your office staff, including marketing expectations, social media expectations for the agency’s feed, and ongoing training attendance expectations. We find that it is easiest to write comprehensive policy based on department, so start there.
Remember, your policy and procedure manual should provide the structure for how your agency will provide excellent client care and the systems that make it easier to do so.
Now, it’s time to get started on your own P&P manual. Good luck!